Sunday, September 26, 2010

How do you review?

I'm cleaning my room at the moment... which in other words mean that I'm picking up a lot of books LOL. It's actually a good thing, because I'm looking for my copy of Deeply, Desperately by Heather Webber to write my review, but so far no luck :(  The good news though is that I started thinking.. and you know me, I'm full of curiosity... so I thought up of a discussion topic which is the following:

How do you review your books?

Throughout the years, while I was conversing with other bloggers or reading their posts, I've learned of some people's habits. Some jot down notes as they read, marking pages and passages. Others have to write a review immediately after they've finished the book.

Me? I don't have a time limit when it comes to reviewing a book... I can do it the same day I've finished it or two, three months later. I don't take notes or write down page numbers or stick a post-it or a bookmark to mark passages or quotes. I simply sit in front of my computer, hands on the keyboard and type away... or stare at the screen and play games till I'm done writing. Ideally, I would finish a review in one sitting, but lately, it's rarely been the case. Finally, when I'm done, I'll usually read the review once to be sure that it makes sense and if I'm lucky, I'll catch a mistake or two and then I publish. I pretty much go with the flow which is probably why I have difficulty planning a schedule and save up some reviews for the future. I do have one quirk though and that is I need to have the book I'm reviewing next to me - it's like a security blanket. I like to have it so I can check the characters names, the spelling of the town or a particular scene I want to mention. I want to be sure that if I refer to a part of the book, I get it right... which is why I'm looking for my copy of Deeply, Desperately :P

So what about you? Any habits?


  1. I found out that I have to do it immediately or else I will have forgotten everything. If I don't do it right away, then I have to have the book in order to make sure that I remember anything.

  2. I don't anymore :-) I'll still post if I like a book, or don't - but other than that I pretty much just do fly-bys about what I'm reading (or what I bought)

  3. Hahaha. You have brought up a nice point. I have just finished a review of the book in my blog! :)

    I have to write the review of the book as soon as I finish it. It is not because I forget or something - it is because I become a lazy bum.

    There have been so many books that have slipped through the cracks just because I haven't written book the very same day! But just like you, I don't mark any passages in my book or fold the pages *shudder*

  4. Slowly :)

    I wish I could write reviews quickly in one sitting but that's rarely the case. I do try to write the review within a few days, a week at the most, of finishing the book. Even with notes, my memory isn't that good. :D

    When I first started reviewing I carried a notebook with me along with the book to write down page #s of scenes/quotes I thought I might want to bring up in the review. That got to be bothersome since the notebook was big, nearly the size of a trade paperback. Now instead of a regular bookmark I use a piece of paper as my bookmark and make notes that. I don't think I could do sticky notes. Having them stick out of the book would drive me crazy.

    Ha - I do the same thing. Have to have the book right next to me. I wrote a review once after returning the book to the library and it about drove me crazy! I had to keep checking the author's site to make sure I got names etc. right. LOL

  5. I have a very similar style to you. I wish I could review a book as soon as I finished it, or within a few days, but nope.

    But once I sit down to write it, I just type up whatever I think...and rarely check it over before I hit publish. LOL

    I need the book beside me too - in case I've dog-eared some pages for a quote or something, but I haven't been doing that lately.

  6. I'm similar in that I don't take notes or bookmark or highlight or anything either. I also just sit down and start typing. However, I do have to do it fairly soon after reading a book usually no longer than 2 weeks after I've read it. I find that I have trouble recalling specifics and instead am left with just the overall feeling and that makes it hard to write a review when I can't recall the specifics of why I did or did not enjoy it!

  7. Bookworm1858 - Nod nod, I think it is the case for most people. For some reasons though, for me, I have excellent memories about storyline and characters and even recalling what I wanted to write ^_^;

    Dev - LOL, that's fine :) What you're doing is exactly right actually... A review is just an expanded version of whether or not we liked a book... I think the most important at the core, is just that. Sharing with others whether or not we enjoyed what we read :)

    Brahmin - LOL, I know what you mean ^_^; It happens to me as well, although lately, I've been getting better at.

    Do you review everything you read?

    Leslie - LOL.

    Well you know... a sitting could be a whole day at work, in-between whatever I do ^_^;

    LOL, yeah, that's pretty cumbersome, a notebook that is as big as your book ^_^;

    For sticky notes, I'm actually more concern about the ink. You know, the glue on the ink and then, when you remove them, some of the ink is removed as well. Wouldn't like that.

    Nod nod. It's just not fun to go through excerpt and website info and even other reviews to check spelling and stuff :( I know what you mean! :P

    Ames - Sometimes, I try... but lately, not happening. I'm just way too behind on my reviews to do that ^_^;

    LOL, you dog-ear your books? Hmmm, I think I've just found the topic for next week's discussion! :P

    Mollie - You know, sometimes, focusing on the overall feeling is a good thing too :) I think some of the reviewers forget that part, like the overall feel.... and it's a good excercice imo, trying to recall why you enjoyed or did not enjoy the book :P

  8. Well, I type up my first impressions of the book as soon as I finish it. Usually one paragraph detailing what I thought of the book (no details).

    If I'm reading the book on my Kindle I highlight key passages and when I'm writing my review refer to those. If I'm reading a print book, I sometimes take a few notes, or write page #'s in my little notebook for later use. I USED to write my reviews as soon as I finished the books, but not any longer... now I write them later. But, I still sit down and usually write them in one sitting.

    I also keep the book next to me to confirm names, etc... :)

  9. Sometimes I highlight paragraphs or write a note about something in particular I want to quote, or dogear a page (yes, I dogear), but usually, I just write my review about what I liked and didn't and just go with it. I'm a lazy reviewer, I admit it.

  10. Nath - Yeah almost everything I read. At least I want to! Because no matter what I tell myself I DO forget the book that I have read over the years!

    I don't need the book right next to me. If I do have that then I might end up writing everything! Which I don't want to do. I just refer to the blurb to get the names right and then I think back about what I found interesting :)

  11. While I SOMETIMES sit down right away and write the review, most of the time I have to let it sit and gel...or fester as the case may be...until I get the right feeling for it. Sometimes I'll write a review right away and then after it's posted think of 3 or 4 more things I should have said.

    Normally I just sit and write like you do. Occasionally I'll put quotes in but rarely because I've already got the book put away before I do the review.

  12. I have to write pretty soon after reading the book. I tried taking notes but I found I was 'working' instead of reading and hey, it's about enjoying your books too.

    I will forget parts of a story too fast nowadays if I wait too long. Half the time, at the end of the year I have to go to my reviews to remember which books I read. Back blurbs don't help me and titles get messed up in my brain.

    I try and review everything I read unless after I've read the book I can't remember anything - happens.

    Also, lately, I have to write up the review and then wait a few days to re-read and add stuff I may have passed over.

    And finally, I won't read any reviews of a book I'm reviewing for fear I'll end up slurping up others wording and thoughts. I usually end up kicking myself when I go and read others thoughts and think 'right, that's what I was trying to say'. *shrug*


  13. Hilcia - LOL, I guess that's why your blog is named Impressions! :P

    I guess that's a real advantage to the Kindle, being able to highlight some passages :)

    Lori - LOL, it does sound like the others put a lot of efforts into it :) LOL, Lori, you and I are lazy bums :P

    I guess as long as you get what you wanted to say across, it's okay :)

    Brahmin - Nod nod. I keep a spreadsheet, but in no way could I be able to review everything ^_^;

    Me, I try to write my own synopsis, just to mention what I thought was important and the blurb missed :P

    Tracy - Interesting, Tracy :) I do agree that sometimes, you need to sit on it a while to be sure of your emotions towards a book... and LOL, it happens to me too to remember something I wanted to mention but forgot, after publishing the post. So frustrating sometimes, LOL.

    Cindy - Nod nod about the notes taking. True.

    I have no problem remembering WHAT I read, but it's the WHEN that is causing me troubles lately ^_^;

    Interesting that you bring up the fact that you don't read other reviews... Me, I often pull out the reviews, because it jars my memory or because I want to reply to some arguments that have been made :)

  14. I tried it all. Well, except for dogearing and highlighting. :)

    Writing directly after I've finished, writing just a few sentences after I've finished it and come back to it later, taking notes while reading, marking pages with slips of papers (only to forget why I put the damn paper there later), ...

    At the moment, the way I write my posts is all over the place in terms of how I go about it (which probably shows). In general, I have to write as soon as possible because otherwise I'll have trouble remembering anything except a generic "I liked/didn't like/was okay."

    The funny thing is, I actually started the blog because I wanted to remember my books better's not really working! LOL Okay, except for "special" books. :) But that worked before, too.

  15. Taja - LOL, it takes time to find your own way in reviewing imo.

    I think the biggest issue is time. If everyone had time to write full reviews, sit and think, LOL, there shouldn't be a problem.

    Generic I liked, didn't like, was okay is a good start LOL.

  16. I don't write many reviews anymore. I think part of that is because I don't want to take the time away from reading the next book on my pile or I sit down to write a review and end up blog hopping instead. Then I just don't bother going back to write it after weeks have gone by. LOL.

    I do know that I do best if I at least start a review as soon as I've finished reading the book. My ideas of what I loved or didn't about the book are so much fresher and more .. animated in my mind then. If I wait too long, I often lose some of the excitement or passion for the best bits of the story. If I have gone back and written a review weeks later, I feel like I've left out something important.

    There is bookmarking, and highlighting with notes feature in iBooks. I just started using iBooks, though, so I haven't really tried it, but maybe that'll help me be more organized with my thoughts for review writing purposes. We'll see. :P

  17. Christine - LOL. Well you still do some posts about books you've read and how much you've enjoyed it. I mean, most of the time, I don't really need a full review. Impressions are often good enough :P

    LOL, wonder if the bookmarking and highlighting will change how you read and review :P If so, I hope it's for the best! :P